Apple’s Content Delivery Plans, and Apple vs Cisco

According to a recent Bloomberg article, Apple is “assembling a high speed network” and “upgrading how it builds its data centers” because “Apple wants to own pipes linking its four data centers and Internet” to “ensure fast, reliable delivery of content and services”. Its common knowledge that Apple’s motive for buying more infrastructure is to increase its control over their content, and the delivery of it. Google, Facebook, and Amazon started this process a while back, and Apple is playing catchup. Their infrastructure build-out is old news, unless Apple plans on connecting its data centers with 200 x 100Gbps waves from the likes of Level 3, Zayo, and others. That would be more earth shattering news.

Snapshot of Apple’s 20Tbps Backbone

AppleCDN

If Apple leases 200 x 100Gig  waves from various carriers, we’re talking about a 20Tbps backbone. Now that’s impressive even for Apple. However, if Apple leases 20 x 100Gbps, then 2Tbps isn’t that big of a deal. As far as the control aspect of last mile content delivery, nothing changes for Apple, unless it follows in the footsteps of Google, by building out a fiber-to-the-home network and mobile network. However, the one piece that does stick out in the Bloomberg article, Apple will join Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and 30+ CDNs by jumping on the bare-metal + SDN bandwagon. That isn’t good news for Cisco’s new CEO Chuck Robbins. Cisco vs Arista Networks+Cumulus is business as usual. But Cisco vs Google + Apple + Facebook + Amazon + 30+ CDNs + HP + bare-metal – that’s a war that can’t be won. That’s it for now, and all we can say is good luck Chuck, especially since you’re making the big bucks.

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